You're probably thinking you don't need another documentary about the Iraq War. But you're wrong, because Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side is finally being released, and the film is one of three necessary docs dealing with Iraq. The triad, which would make a great box set if only the same company distributed all three films, also includes Charles Ferguson's very highly acclaimed Sundance jury-award-winner No End in Sight (on which Gibney was a producer) and Patricia Foulkrod's under-appreciated 2006 work The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends.
What do they have in common? Well, if you put them together and watch them all, you'll feel like an expert on three important aspects of the war and its most significant repercussions. They may not tell you everything there is to know about the Iraq War, but they're more thorough and informative than most. No End in Sight is the most directly involved with the actual conflict, from its causes to its effects (read Kim's review here). The Ground Truth more specifically deals with the American soldiers, but in an all-encompassing, training-to-homecoming portrait of modern combat and its consequences (see my review here). Taxi to the Dark Side is sort of like a flip side to that film, though it doesn't necessarily focus on the enemy combatants. Instead it deals with suspected enemies, soldiers or otherwise, who are held and oftentimes tortured in prisons such as Iraq's Abu Ghraib.
Taxi to the Dark Side somewhat falls outside the box (set), though, in that it really isn't about Iraq. In fact, Gibney insists that his documentary is not an 'Iraq film.' Yes, it does feature a lot of details about, and footage of, Iraq's Abu Ghraib, which is probably the best-known prison of its kind, but it also prominently features Bagram, in Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, the two other facilities used in the detention and interrogation of individuals presumed to be involved with Al-Qaeda, the Iraqi insurgency or any other enemy of the U.S. in its "War on Terror."